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that will be passed in both houses. if an agreement is not reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor and up or down vote for the floor, and i believe a p proposal could pass both houses with majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be be the big news of the day, and isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it is prp's way of saying, look, vote on his basic proposal, the proposal that will extend the middle-class tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more and extend unemployment benefits and spending cuts and basic plan that the president is calling for, and something similar has passed through senate so that the white house feels confident what the president is calling for would again pass through the senate and could potentially get through the house. in order for that to happen though, richard, that would involve every single democrat in
. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell knows what that means >> the president of the united states, now he's asking for an unlimited -- unlimited -- authority to borrow whenever he wants to for whatever amount he wants to? >> jon: (musming) all right. so the senator clearly doesn't know what the debt ceiling means. the debt ceiling is a control imposed on the treasury department by congress in order to, you know, is there just some well informed and respected authority that can explain what the debt ceiling is >> it gives the government permission to pay back the money we already borrowed >> jon: totally right. i didn't understand it because he was talking too fast but i think he's [bleep] right. and i like that lady too. i don't know her. even if senator mcconnell doesn't understand the debt ceiling he does understand how to play senate chess. he knows while obama wants the debt ceiling debate removed, senate majority leader harry reid, he don't have the 51 votes he needs to get that passed so mcconnell is going to trap reed in a corner. >> an unlimited authority to borrow whenever he
together. at the same time they are calling for reinforcements. leader mcconnell says he has placed a call to the vice president asking him to get involved in this in part because joe biden was in the senate for so long and has been able to help bring the two sides together in previous cases where they were down to the wire. we know that call has gone out. harry reid says he has reached out to the president on the phone a couple of times. republicans say there is no single issue that should break this. there is something that democrats are talking about. what we have learned is in an offer presented by republicans last night at 7:00 included within that was a request to make a change to how future increases to the payments of social security would change. not taking any money away presently but over the years to come reducing the amount of increase. that is called chain cpi. for democrats it is a nonstarter. here is majority leader harry reid. >> we're not going to have any social security cuts. at this stage that doesn't seem appropriate. i still hold out hope that we can get something do
and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less, but that's where we are. and i feel confident that we have an obligation to do the best we can and that was made very clear in the white house. and we're going to do the best we can for the caucuses that we have and the country that's waiting for us to make a decision. >> but the president was in no playful
, the game seems to be moving to rich mcconnell and harry reid. i think we have some sound bites from mitch mcconnell and harry reid on the senate floor. let ee cease if we can one that now. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we're engaged in discussions, the majority leader, the white house, and myself in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> i'm going to doering i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody -- whatever everybody comes up with is going to be imperfect. some like it. some like it less, and that's where we are. i have the confidence we're going to do the best we can. that's the message in the white house. we we're going to do the best for the country that's waitinger for us to make a decision. >> clarence, you even seen this movie, right? >> well, yeah. at least in the works on the senate side. on the house side, we still don't know about those hard core intransigents, and even if the senate does come up wit
and cooperate, but because i think it's been very hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit and as part of an overall deficit reduction package. if folks can't say yes to good offers, then i also have an obligation to the american people to make sure that the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn't fall on seniors who are relying on medicare. >> now, one of the questions in the days ahead will be whether or not this strategy back fired because republican leaders on the hill had their feathers ruffled by the fact that the president seemed to be blaming them. and speaker john boehner saying he should spend more time negotiating, why are you on tv while mitch mcconnell is working with harry reid to troy to get a deal. the president's point was if they do not make any progress on bipartisan talks in the senate since the clock is running out he wants a straight up and down vote on the senate on his fallback level. put it go in the $250,000 a year and extend unemployment benefits for 2 million a
staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to increase on those making $250,000 or less. republicans have said that's way too low. so they're thinking about potentially compromising on a rate that would be $400,000 or $500,000, but some republicans are saying they don't think that the tax rate should go up on anyone. so taxes still the major sticking point. right now the negotiations are going on the hill and there's a lot of optimism that came from the talks yesterday. of course, president obama hosted congressional leaders at the white house and they left that meeting and many said that it was constructive and they were optimistic that a deal could get done
there was earlier in the day. mitch mcconnell and harry reid say they're going to come out and try to hammer out a bipartisan deal that can pass the senate with enough republican votes to convince the house to act and even president obama who had been concerned that they were not going to act and challenging them for an up and down vote said he was optimistic. here's the president after that meeting. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> now what would be in that mini deal? we're talking about tax increases for people at near the top of the income scale. the question is the threshold, 400 or $500,000 are the likely places that that could end up. it would likely turn off the automatic sequester by using some of the revenue from the tax increases to account as budget cuts and turn off they is quester and it would also extend unemployment benefits and do the so-called doc fix to preve
and leader mcconnell, senator feinstein, john mccain. our thanks and appreciation to mrs. bush and madame secretary for taking time to be here today and the contributions to this effort and your commitment to advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in burma. i would be remiss if i did not mention someone who's not with us today, congressman tom lantos. tom, and his wife and staff, worked so hard on behalf of burma for so many years. i wish he were here to share this moment in history with us because i think today is an amazing day. today is an incredible. who would have thought that when this bill was introduced in the house in 2008 when aung san suu kyi was under house arrest that in a few short years she would be standing or sitting with us on u.s. soil receiving this honor as a member of the burmese parliament. back then we thought about granting the metal and extension which may have been the first time a person would have received in the history of the metal the congressional gold medal while in detention. who would have imagined this change was possible. who would have thought
reid, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell would try to hammer out a deal amongst themselves, get it passed through the chamber and send it to the house. house speaker boehner made it clear he had not move first. he wants to see the senate act. the ball is now in the senate's court for all intents and purposes. >> sam, isn't it a bit late in the day to be playing this game of chick snn. >> i don't know what constitutes late in the day at this juncture. i guess we have a few more days, a couple more hours here. i think there's a general consensus we probably will hit the cliff, but that doesn't mean they can't hurry and get something done a day after, two days after, do it retroactively. the hit that would be felt by families would be minimum in that case. a lot of negotiations. we'll see what mcconnell and reid can pick up and forge together. >> nbc news has been reporting that the president's holding firm to this position of not cutting taxes for people earning more than $250,000 a year. you've been talking to republicans all day. will republicans vote for a plan that looks like
not heard from democrats since then. mitch mcconnell, of course, the republican leader here in the senate, has said he has reached out to joe biden, the vice president, and not incidentally the president of the senate in that capacity. he has had a couple of conversations with him according to republican senators, one, just within the last hour, at least one, when mitch mcconnell left a closed door luncheon of republican senators to speak with joe biden by phone. we understand that joe biden, our crack white house team, put eyes on him going into the white house about 1:45 this afternoon. he was in delaware yesterday. seems unlikely at this point that biden would make the trip up to capitol hill for any face-to-face negotiations. democrats say this is simply a ruse, mitch mcconnell trying to go around harry reid, the democratic leader here and appealing to joe biden, trying to make it look in democratic estimation as if republicans are going the last mile, but, look, we're stuck. we're nowhere at this point. there was a major setback earlier. you mentioned it, the so-called chained cpi. a
or pessimism at this moment? >> well, it was a very bad sign when senator mcconnell put this social security change on the table, as part of a small deal, that was obviously something that could have totally thrown a monkey wrench into the process. so the fact that they backed off that is obviously good news. but as senator reid said, there are lots of obstacles still to go. and the fundamental issue remains what the president just said in that clip. both today and for the last year, the number one priority of republicans have been -- has been to use the middle class tax cuts as leverage to try and extract these super big tax breaks for very wealthy individuals, including now their focus on trying to get 7,200 estates, an average tax break of 1.2 million. this is the top fraction of 1% of the super wealthiest estates, inheritance taxes in the country. they apparently want to put more silver spoons in more people's mouths and provide this big break. again, the sorry part of the story is they're using the middle class to extract these concessions for very wealthy individuals. >> at this late h
. but boehner finds himself in an increasingly weak position. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell refused to take a position on boehner's debt plan today. >> i have no particular observation other than i commend the house leadership for trying to move. the process along and getting to a point where hopefully we can have a real discussion. >> house democrats are cranking up the pressure. tim walsh of minnesota introduced a discharge petition on the middle class tax cuts in the house. if it gets 218 signatures, it would get a floor vote before the end of the month. >> this is an issue that we all agree on. >> democratic leader nancy pelosi announced a plan for the discharge petition last week. the petition keeps the focus on extending tax cuts for 98% of americans. i spoke to leader pelosi late this afternoon about the strategy and the latest developments in the debt standoff. >> thank you for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure. >> the discharge petition, what are your expectations? >> well, my expectations have already been exceeded because we have over 150 members, house democrats who hav
right to the senate floor where senator mitch mcconnell is actually speaking about the fiscal cliff. let's take a listen. >> we'll see what the president has to propose. members on both sides of the aisle will review it, and then we'll decide how best to proceed. hopefully, there's still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly, wholly preventable economic crisis. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> the majority leader. >> i'm not sure my distinguished republican counterpart has followed what has taken place in the house of representatives. the house, as reported lie the press and we all know, one of the plans that didn't have a name, it wasn't plan "b," i don't know what plan it was because they've had a number over there, but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it would have pass
minority leader mitch mcconnell who said an agreement is very close and said congress should act on the tax portion of the deal. >> let's pass the tax relief portion now. let's take what's been agreed to and get moving. we can do this. we must do this. >> famous last words. i want to go to the capital now. joining us, the dynamic duo, the silver fox and mr. boatshoe. nbc's mike viqueira and luke russert. gentlemen, thanks for being here. our cnbc colleague john harwood is reporting that there will be no vote in the house tonight, and according to his sources, the u.s. will go over the fiscal cliff. what's your reaction to that? have you heard that -- >> we can confirm that. >> i love john harwood, but luke and i have been reporting the same thing, jonathan, so there. >> okay. so we're going over the cliff? >> apparently. that's the bad news. the good news is, the parameters of a deal are definitely there. as you described, jonathan, the sticking point remains this so-called trigger, the sequester. remember, they agreed upon it last summer in july and august of 2011 when they came to that bi
biden and mitch mcconnell. earlier republicans suggested changing the way inflation is calculated on changes like social security read offered this reaction late in the day. >> i was really grass fied to hear republicans taking command by social security set off the table. this should never have been on the table to begin with. there is still significant difference between the two sides negotiations continue. still time left to reach an agreement. >> meanwhile west virginia democrat joe mansion introduced the calm act trying to soften the blow as the country goes off the fiscal cliff. it would maphase in tax hikes or the years and prioritize spending cuts. he says he's frustrated and tried to do something. >> it was crossing the wires it's more than frustration it sounds like desperation at this point as they are losing hope. the chained cpi the social security adjustment you were talking about basically changes the way they configure the cost of living and would make those benefits smaller checks. does it sound like republicans are willing to let that go? >> seems like they are w
yet to bear fruit and right now we do have the focus on the senate. majority leader reid and mitch mcconnell trying to hammer out a deal that would, to some extent extend the bush-era tax cuts for those making $250,000 although we might see that number go up to 400,000, 500,000 if there is some type of a deal. the president has called on a deal to extend unemployment insurance benefits so that is another aspect that they're negotiating, but clearly, these negotiations are difficult. they have been from day one and that is why we are seeing them go to the 11th hour, but again, as of right now one democratic source expressing skepticism about getting something done by the all-important deadline. craig? >> the president, of course, appearing on "meet the press" tomorrow. is there a sense that the white house needs to stay out in front of this to convince americans that he's doing his part to reach a settlement before zero hour? >> think that is part of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to people in
, staff from harry reed and mitch mcconnell have been negotiating through the daout the day and in picked up. we have heard that both sides are not budgeting. but we don't know, things can change at any moment. if we have to gauge how to talks have gone so far from the conversations we have had here around capitol hill, they have not been too good at the moment. all that being said though, craig, there's a lot that can happen over the next 48 hours. the deal obviously is to try to have something on the floor that can pass the house of representatives by new year's eve. that is why it's so difficult, craig. you have mitch mcconnell and harry reed trying to get something passed. so there's a lot of moving parts. this is not a really easy road ever. so far, things are not overly optimistic, there was a touch of optimism yesterday and this morning but it went away this afternoon. >> what happened? >> who knows. >> what happened between yesterday afternoon and evening when everyone sounded like this thing may happen and now? >> what happens is they go in a room and start going back forth with
mitchell reports, teetering on the edge. are joe bideern and mitch mcconnell close to striking an 11th hour deal to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff? >> there are a number of issues on which the two sides are still apart, and negotiations are continuing as i speak. >> the vice president and i have worked together on solutions before, and i believe we can again. >> lawmakers work through the weekend. president obama went on "meet the press" to call out mcconnell and house speaker john boehner over tax hikes. >> i think it's been very hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to know that taxes should go up as part of an overall deficit reduction. >> a health scare for hillary clinton. new details as the secretary of state undergoes treatment for a blood clot in a new york hospital. >>> ringing in the new year. from sydney to new york city. the world turns the page to 2013. good day. i'm chris live in washington in for andrea today. deal or no deal? as vice president joe biden and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell continue negotiations, we just have learned that presid
the finger at republicans. take a list. >> speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact taxes on wealthiest americans should go up a little bit. if folks can't say yes to good offers i have an obligation of the american people to make sure that the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn't fall on seniors who are relying on medicare. >> now, what the president s correct about s that in the negotiations with speaker boehner in recent weeks the president was giving on social security and med did i kay changes that democrats were not excited about but speaker benito walked away -- but speaker boehner walked away from those negotiations. senator mitch mcconnell said in the last couple of days when got a phone call from the president saying let's try to come back to the table and work this out. mcconnell said that is the first time he heard from the president, senator harry reid or any of the tomorrow democrats in about a month. in terms of presidential leadership there had not been that give and take in a month. >> that is astounding as you point out for more than a point.
house calls it the mcconnell plan because it's based on an idea that mitch mcconnell proposed become in july 2011. but even though it is mitch mcconnell's idea, even though he came up with it, mitch mcconnell is not for it. mitch mcconnell at this point does not support the mcconnell plan at all. he didn't think democrats did either. and yesterday he wanted to call their bluff. now that is when c-span 2 suddenly became amazing television. yesterday afternoon mitch mcconnell asked the senate to move to an immediate vote on the mcconnell plan. vote on it now. you figured harry reid would back down. prove that even democrats don't like this idea. but reid did not back down. he doubled down. he said, yeah, let's vote on the plan. but let's move to an immediate up or down vote. no filibuster, no 60-vote requirement, let's see if it gets 51. if so, it's passed. at which point, mcconnell kind of filibustered his own bill. he said, no, if we're not going to have a 60-vote threshold, there would be no vote at all. he got his wish and then e he launched a filibuster or a 60-vote challenge agai
no decision tonight. we have also learned senator mitch mcconnell, the republican minority leader, has had conversations directly with vice president biden. mcconnell had been working with senate majority leader harry reid, but he and biden have gotten things done when working together in the past. can they do it now? let's go to dana bash. dana, what do you think? is it promising? can they go it now? >> reporter: well, let's start there. it certainly has happened before between these two men, and it's happened before when democrats on capitol hill are either split or have gotten, frankly, just too frustrated with the republican counterparts to have conversations to be able to find bipartisan agreement. these are the two men who negotiated an extension of the bush era tax cuts for two years. that happened two years ago when republicans had a lot of political capital because they just won the house in a big way. whether or not these two men are actually going to be the ones to strike a deal, we're not sure, but we are told, our ted barrett and jessica yellin and i are told by multiple sourc
that republicans believe it should be about. it ought to be reducing the deficit and debt. >> senator mcconnell has spoken a couple times with the president and two of them have come up bipartisan deals to get through congress. >> those conversations and discussions continue. we remain hopeful that that will have a breakthrough. obviously what happened between the two leaders in the senate have broken down because the senate democrats fail to come forward with a counteroffer to the proposal that republicans made last night. hopefully the discussions between senators and mcconnell will be something we can vote on today or tomorrow that would add veteran what we believe would be an economic disaster. >> will you take a scaled down version, raising taxes on everybody, do you think your republican colleagues that enough republicans will opt over on the democratic side if needed? >> it's hard to say until we know exactly what might be in it. this is what i would say about it. if that is where we ends up. if we decides to move a bill on the floor and extension and put it on vehicle for that, he ought to
advanced a proposal last night. you heard senator mcconnell talk about that on the floor. we are still awaiting a counteroffer by the democrats. and there was an indication that we could have received that by 10:00 this morning. we have yet to receive it. but there are discussions that continue. senator mcconnell and vice president biden are continuing to discuss this and we think there perhaps still could be a path forward. the one thing that is a, you know, democrats come out and made a big deal out of chained cpi, republicans are very concerned that if that not be used as an offset to reduce or to replace some of the spending cuts that you would occur in the sequester, that democrats put forward an alternative and so this is a process. obviously, there's a lot of give and take going on now, but republicans don't want to see new revenues, in other words, democrat tax increases, be used for new spending. so that's sort of where many of our members have drawn the line now. >> that is where it times to be one of the big road blocks are right now, democrats -- you-all want to use what's
republican leader mitch mcconnell adding his voice to a day that has seen a number of people talking, including that man, harry reid, the majority leader of the senate. we've been getting mixed signals. the biggest signal we got was regarding the house which is coming back to -- reconvening sunday night, and that brought the market back in a big way, but now we're hearing from mitch mcconnell and let's bring in eamon javers there on capitol hill, i mean, the rumor had been, a lot of traders talking here, eamon, that maybe there's a dell brewing between the president and the senate. that doesn't sound like anything is going on right now according to rich mcconnell. >> what we got was a facebook post from scott brown who said he was come back to washington and jumping on an airplane to review some new proposal from the president that they expected to get. the whole afternoon has been spent by reporters trying -- trying to figure out what was going on. now harry vaed responding to mcconnell so let's right to it. >> he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains i've not d
mcconnell, we believe is on the floor, he's the key negotiator on the republican party. >> let's go to mitch mcconnell on the floor. he's been the closer on this. i'm going to go back to you, dana. he's not there quite yet. this is all in the hands of the senate at this point. you were talking about tom harkin. the it's something progressives hated, this idea of social security changes being on the table. they won on that. >> i have to tell you i'm having some audio problems but i think you asked about social security. so i'm going to go with that. that was a potential issue yesterday. it seems to have been resolved. republicans, we were told by democrats, this was a clear tactic to tell us about this. republicans had put that on the table. the idea of so-called chained cpi which would have an effect on social security recipients. republicans backed off on that after a meeting yesterday. that doesn't seem to be on the table. but forgive me, i thought mitch mcconnell was on the floor. the other thing i wanted to tell you about is mcconnell and the vice president have been in intense
'm optimistic. if an agreement isn't reached in time, between senate store reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. i believe such a proposal could pass with bipartisan majorities. >> this up or down vote seems to be the big news of the day. isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it's president's obama's way of saying vote on his basic proposal. it would extend in employment insurance benefit and deal with unemployment insurance cuts. >> so the question is, could they actually get that many republicans to vote for this package that the president is calling for? >> but politically, what he is doing is essentially saying this is the plan that i'm putting forth. let's get it through the senate and if it fails, it will fail in the republican-led house. essentially having rely cans having owned that failure. >> i didn't hear also about the debt ceiling that the treasury secretary was just saying we need to raise pretty much any day now. is this going to be the next couple of months in terms of
our principles. over on the senate side, an aide to minority leader mitch mcconnell of kentucky waited this morning telling nbc's first read, quote, dems did a great job of killing plan b. i sure hope they have a plan c. of course, plan b never had a shot of passing the senate anyway. harry reid alluded to that in a statement he released last night and said, boehner is still key to a deal, despite what happened. here's reid. speaker boehner's partisan approach wasted an entire week and pushed middle-class families closer to the edge. the only way to avoid the cliff all together is for speaker boehner to return to negotiations and work with president obama and the senate to forge a bipartisan deal. lots going on and we are covering it all at both ends of pennsylvania avenue. kelly o'donnell's nbc capitol hill correspondent, and nbc's peter alexander joins us live from the white house. kelly, i want to start with you. wow, was there a lot of drama on capitol hill last night. i am interested, where do we go from here? the house is now in adjournment until christmas. boehner with a 10:00 a
to senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. engaged in discussions in the hopes we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> and the senate is set to reconvene sunday at 1:00 eastern time. the house also expected to be in session on sunday. they'll start at 2:00 eastern time with the first votes coming at 6:30. let's head up to capitol hill. mike viqueira is there. so what? even if they reach a deal today or tomorrow? do we have time to get this dup? >> i think so, t.j. if they sign off from everybody in the senate. if everybody stands up, no & nobody objects. they call it unanimous consent around here. they can wave their hansory anything. badda bing, badda boom. it's out of here. you look at senate leaders on the floor, and you ask what the heck took so long? the first senate session since 1995 to fall during the holiday week. known all along the fiscal cliff is looming, yet the deadline spurs action. not a done deal. still a c
mitch mcconnell trying to put together some alternative package that could in fact make its way through both houses. after they met with the president on friday, they sounded cautiously optimistic. here's what they had to say. take a listen. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. and so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. >> and t.j., there's a lot of pressure on lawmakers and on the president to get something done. we've already seen the markets impacted by this. a lot of americans have just expressed frustration and concern over what's going to happen to their tax rates in the new year if in fact lawmakers can't get a deal. so there's a lot of public pressure to get something done on this. and of course, time is really running out. t.j.? >> kristen welker for us at the white house. thank you so much. and joining me now with some inside perspective, there he is smiling this morning, democr
the vice president joe biden and mitch mcconnell. they were making some sense of progress there. this is after two stop soldiers, mitch mcconnell and harry reid failed to make much progress through tonight and this morning. harry reid went home earlier this yeeng and biden and mcconnell were taking point on the negotiations. they worked out a deal couple years ago for unemployment insurance that cut the social security tax. they 6 worked together before and they have succeeded reaching a deal before and folks on capitol hill they can do so again. >> less than 26 hours from what everyone calls a fiscal cliff. it would be comprehensive big package we hear them talk about, the big compromise that speaker boen and the president had worked out a year and a half ago? >> if you want what is known a as the grand bargain you would likely get in two steps. a small down payment, a tax rate increase and some of the spending measures and some of the other tax measures and perhaps instructions for the next six to eight months to congress to work on entitlement and spending reform and broader
leader, harry reid, mitch mcconnell, it is up to them to craft this thing. it is out of his hands for the next couple of days and into the hands of people in the senate. adam: rich edson at the white house. i know that you are going to regroup. gerri willis and "the willis report" will stop where we leave off. gerri willis is up next to explain all this for you. have a great weekend, everybody. gerri: hello, everybody, president obama calling on congress just moments ago asking to avoid the fiscal cliff. he said he is moderately optimistic that a deal could be done by december 31. congressional leaders are working on crafting a bill. certainly no grand bargain here that would improve entitlements. if they can't get a deal, the president has told harry reid to put the white house proposals up for an up or down vote. the details just keep on coming out. with us now are two guests. first, we are going to go rich edson. he is here with the very latest. tell us what you made of the president's comments. he was very direct. reporter: he was. and now he passes on to the senate. senate ma
. >> i want everyone to know i'm willing to get this done, but i need a dance partner. >> mitch mcconnell called on vice president joe biden to be that dance partner. biden has brokered 11th-hour deals with the republican leader in the past. mcconnell's appeal came just hours after the president appeared on "meet the press" and called out republican leaders by name. >> congress has not been able to get this stuff done, not because democrats in congress don't want to go ahead and cooperate, but because i think it's been very hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package. >> nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell is live on capitol hill. kelly o., i'm looking at the clock, we are now 14 hours and 58 minutes from going over the fiscal cliff. let's outline -- >> reporter: but who's counting, right, chris? >> yeah, who's counting? let's go over for people, what remains unresolved? it seems like two weeks ago they were pretty well set on the ba
, minority leader mitch mcconnell reached out to someone he believed he could help jump start the negotiations and perhaps deliver an 11th hour compromise, and that would be vice president joe biden. mcconnell and biden reportedly spoke several times by phone throughout the night after talks with harry reid came to a halt. >> there's no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. the sticking point appears to be a willingness, an interest, or frankly the courage to close the deal. i want everyone to know i'm willing to get this done. but i need a dance partner. >> before i continue to set the scene, anyone here think biden can make a difference? dan? >> not before the end of the day. i just think that even if the senate -- even if they work out a deal that's acceptable to the senate, then it's going to go to the house. speaker boehner has said they'll either vote on what the senate produces or amend it. that's a lot of work to get done within a day. and i think there are a number of house republicans still holding out, believing that they would rather vote to cut t
with mitch mcconnell on the floor saying that we are very, very close. we'll get more details from john harwood in a moment, but right now the markets are voting and they're giving thumbs up with the dow up 138 points. nasdaq up 2% right now. it's been strong all day. now at 3,020. and the s&p up 1.5%. >> look at those stocks go. president obama saying a fiscal cliff agreement is quote, in sight. mitch mcconnell moments ago saying quote, we are very, very close. >> to d.c. and john harwood. he and eamon have been monitoring all day. why are we close but not there yet? what's left, john? >> what's left is the agreement between the two parties on delaying those automatic across the board defense and domestic budget cuts which nobody wants. they deliberately set up so they wouldn't take place. democrats want to defer those for a year. republicans say we're only going to put them off to the extent you can find budget cuts that match the amount that the sequester would have been. now, the republicans are offering two or three months, 60 or 90 days and suggesting cuts. but democrats have not
majority leader harry reid quickly moved the measure to a vote. minority leader mch mcconnell assured that no republicans block the bill. house speaker john boehner agreed to bring the bill to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeti
. yesterday, republican senate leader mitch mcconnell made an emergency call to the vice president joe biden in an evident to jump-start negotiations. heather: if no deal is haed out today, majority leader reid says he will call a vote on a separate white house plan that reflects's original proposal. gregg: chief correspondent mike emanuel kicks off the coverage. mike, where do the things stand in the fiscal cliff talks at this critical late-stage? >> reporter: gregg, there seems to be some hope that conversations between vice president joe biden and senator mitch mcconnell can produce a deal. aides say the two men spoke multiple times last night and will continue working toward a solution. mcconnell called the vice. president bush: after weighing 18 hours from senate majority leader harry reid who seemed to throw in the towel. >> there is still significant difference between two sides and negotiations continue. there is still time left to reach an agreement and we intend to continue negotiations. >> reporter: a big issue is what thresh do you continue the bush tax cuts. the democrats latest
. >> coming up. mitch mcconnel did the most idiotic thing and coming up we will watch him do it. and why he wants to pay more taxes and jim demint is quitting the senate. who is happier to see him go? >> the people of illinois have spoken in a poll and they want michelle obama to be their next seb tore. capella university understands rough economic times have led to an increase in clinical depression. drug and alcohol abuse is up. and those dealing with grief don't have access to the professional help they need. when you see these issues, do you want to walk away or step up? with a degree in the field of counseling or psychology from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to make a difference in the lives of others. let's get started at capella.edu i heard you guys can ship ground for less than the ups store. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night. is this a trick to get my spot? [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. >>> jim demint is going to quit the senate
. mitch mcconnel did the most idiotic thing and coming up we will watch him do it. and why he wants to pay more taxes and jim demint is quitting the senate. who is happier to see him go? >> the people of illinois have spoken in a poll and they want michelle obama to be their next seb tore. when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. than giving her a diamond is surprising her with one. save the surprise. shop online and ship to any zales store free. only at the diamond store. ♪ i'm lost in the light >>> jim demint is going to quit the senate. and stephen colbert wants the job. and later how dysfunctional the senate has become. that is in tonight's rewrite. [ male announcer ] now's the perfect time to buy an adjustable version of the most highly recommended
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